Right-click here to download pictures. Jane Straus

Welcome to your GrammarBook.com E-Newsletter.

New Quizzes

"Your weekly E-Newsletter is very helpful. "
- Elizabeth N.


"Your amazing work sheds light on many difficult areas of language. It has helped make me a better professor."
-Noelio G.


"I would just like to thank you for your Grammar Book newsletters. They are always so helpful!"
- Rae G.

Writing Elegantly

Most of us know clumsy sentences when we hear or read them, but we donít always know exactly why they are clumsy or possess the skills to fix them. An E-Newsletter reader heard the awkwardness of the following sentence but was puzzled by how to reword it.

The network that this computer is able to connect to contains information that is privileged and confidential.

She may have felt uncomfortable about "able to connect to" because it sounds like a dangling modifier. However, this is just a symptom of bigger problems. The clumsiness is caused by several common writing errors:

*Unnecessary dependent clauses
Get rid of that is/which is, that are/which are clauses whenever possible.

*Extraneous verb phrases
Delete verb phrases that donít add meaning: is able to.

*Subjects too far away from their verbs
Place subjects closer to their verbs: computer connects, network contains.

Weed out repetitious words: Confidential and privileged mean the same thing in this context.

Finally, tweak the wording so that the sentence flows: This computer connects to a network containing confidential information.

For more tips on effective writing, including using specific rather than vague language, active vs. passive voice, and parallel form, click here.

Due to the E-Newsletter's large readership, we are only able to respond to individual English usage questions if submitted through GrammarBook.com's "Grammar Blog."

Note to All of Our Weekly E-Newsletter Subscribers

Did you receive our "Welcome" E-Newsletter with the grammar tip about "Its vs. It's" last week even though you are not a new subscriber? That occurred because of an update to our newsletter distribution program. We hope it was a good reminder about the "#1 Grammar Error," but we apologize if it was an inconvenience to anyone.

Free BONUS Quiz For You!

[[firstname]], because you are a subscriber to the newsletter, you get access to one of the Subscription Members-Only Quizzes. Click here to take an Effective Writing Quiz and get your scores and explanations instantly!

Hundreds of Additional Quizzes at Your Fingertips

Hundreds of Quizzes

"So convenient...hundreds of quizzes in one click."

[[firstname]], Subscribe to receive hundreds of English usage quizzes not found anywhere else!

  • Take the quizzes online or download and copy them.
  • Get scored instantly.
  • Find explanations for every quiz answer.
  • Reproduce the quizzes to your heart's content.
  • EASY to use.
  • No software to download.
  • No setup time.
  • A real person to help you if you have any questions!

"Fun to test my skills!" "The explanations really help...thanks!"

Your choice: Subscribe at the $29.95 or $99.95 level ($30 off - regularly $129.95).

"I download the quizzes for my students who don't have computer access."

Subscribe today to receive hundreds of English usage quizzes not found anywhere else!

"Makes learning English FUN!"


Don't need all the quizzes at once?
You can now purchase the same quizzes individually for ONLY 99¢ each. Purchase yours here.

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Get Yours Today!

Get Amazon’s #1 Bestseller in Four Categories!
#1 in Grammar
#1 in Reading
#1 in Lesson Planning
#1 in Vocabulary

The Blue Book of Grammar
and Punctuation
by Jane Straus

The Authority on English Grammar!

Do You Have Your Copy Yet?

An indispensable tool for busy professionals, teachers, students, homeschool families, editors, writers, and proofreaders.

Now available in print AND as an e-Book! Over 2000 copies are purchased every month!

Order Your Copy Today!

  • Hundreds of Grammar, Punctuation, Capitalization, and Usage Rules 
  • Real-World Examples
  • Spelling / Vocabulary / Confusing Words
  • Quizzes with Answers


View the entire contents online

Discounts available for schools, bookstores, and multiple copies. Order Today!


Language Trivia

  • "Facetious" and "abstemious" contain all the vowels in the correct order.
  • The combination "ough" can be pronounced in about nine different ways; the following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."

68 One-Minute English Usage Videos

English In A Snap: 68 One-Minute English Usage Videos FREE 

Learn all about who and whom, affect and effect, subjects and verbs, adjectives and adverbs, commas, semicolons, quotation marks, and much more by just sitting back and enjoying these easy-to-follow lessons. Tell your colleagues (and boss), children, teachers, and friends. Click here to watch.

Forward this E-Newsletter to your friends and colleagues.


If you received this FREE weekly E-Newsletter from a friend, click here to have it sent to you each week.

Look for more Hot Tips by Jane Straus next week.

Miss a recent newsletter? Click here to view past editions.

Subscriber Log In Subscriber Benefits